V2 Chapter 67: Plea

Claira, having escaped from Demon Island, headed straight west.

She could not help Klimt by herself, and she could not involve her friends. In this crisis, the only person Claira could turn to was Sora.

When she had headed west before, Klimt and Gozu were with her, and they walked the Imperial Highway together. But now, Claira did not have the luxury to leisurely progress down the highway.

Having been ordered to stay in the mansion under strict supervision, she had slipped out, wounded a warrior trying to stop her, and exchanged blows with one of the pair who were guarding the demon gate. Each of these actions was a serious crime, and on top of that, she had committed the greatest taboo of all by leaving the island.

It was certain she was being pursued, so Claira avoided the highway and ran through the wilderness, parting the vegetation like a wild animal.

When entering the Kingdom of Canaria from the Adoastera Empire, she did not go through the regular procedures, so the crime of breaking the border was added to her list of offenses. But this decision seemed to have worked, as the pursuers never appeared and Claira managed to reach Ishka.

However, she had run continuously without taking any rest, let alone eating or sleeping, and when she arrived at Sora’s mansion, she was virtually crawling on the ground. She managed to ring the bell, but lost consciousness right after- when she woke up, she was lying in a bed.

Her dirty clothes had been changed, and the mud from her face and limbs had been wiped off. And then-

“It hasn’t been so long since our last meeting,”

Sora was standing by her side. Looking down at Claira, who was lying on the bed, he spoke softly.

Claira called his name with a trembling voice.

“……Lord Sora……”

Her voice was extremely hoarse. Hearing this old woman-like voice, Sora involuntarily frowned.

Then, without saying a word, he picked up the water jug on the table, poured water into a small cup, and handed it to Claira.

Claira quickly took the cup, realizing her intense thirst, and drank all the water in a flash.

Having emptied the cup, Claira took a deep sigh and bowed her head to Sora.

“Thank you, Lord Sora.”

“What happened? Take your time, no need to rush.”


At Sora’s prompting, Claira began to tell her story.

As Claira spoke, she was considering how she could persuade Sora to lend her his power.

Only Sora could help Klimt – with that belief, she had recklessly headed towards Ishka. If it was Sora, he could face the Green Forest Eight Banners guarding the Demon Gate without fear, and without being daunted by the monsters and Kijin that lurked behind the Demon Gate, he could probably fight while bypassing both. She was certain her judgment wasn’t wrong.

However, that was purely in terms of capabilities and mentality. When she thought about the emotional aspects – in other words, would Sora risk his life to fight for Klimt, or for Claira, she could think of no other answer but no.

It made sense, after all. It wasn’t long ago that Claira and the others had fought against Sora as warriors of the Green Forest.

She hadn’t forgotten. As she made her way towards Ishka, this fact had constantly been in the back of Claira’s mind. She hadn’t tried to think about it because she had no time to think about extraneous things while trying to shake off the pursuers she assumed were hot on her heels.

Still, she was aware that was an excuse.

Claira was afraid. Sora had no reason to help them. She couldn’t offer any benefits that would be enough to move Sora. Even if they reached Ishka, it would be meaningless. She was afraid to face these facts.

Once she faced them, she knew that the tension would snap in an instant, and she would kneel down.

And once she kneeled down once, she knew she wouldn’t be able to get up again.

So, she kept running without thinking.

So, even now, standing in front of Sora, she couldn’t think of anything.

In the past, she could have offered herself as compensation. But now, after committing numerous crimes, even that was not possible. Claira was a convict sentenced to death, and by just being in Sora’s home, she was causing immeasurable trouble.

She wouldn’t blame them if they kicked her out right now. No, it was only right that they do so. Claira was not only endangering Sora, but also those around him.

Understanding all this, yet still trying to cling to him, Claira felt a sense of despair that was similar to dizziness at her own shamefulness.

Eventually, having said all she wanted to say, Claira looked at Sora, desperately holding back her sobs. She couldn’t tell if Sora’s face was blurry because of exhaustion or tears. She didn’t know what kind of expression Sora had as he looked down at her.

Was he mocking her, enjoying their dire situation? Or was he showing an indifferent expression, thinking that it had nothing to do with him? Or was he astounded at Claira’s audacity, realizing that she was asking for help?

Claira clenched her hands tightly, enduring the cold gaze of Sora in her imagination. And she thought.

Just once – just once, she would ask Sora for help.

If he refused, she would quietly leave his home. Or, it might be a good idea to offer her head to Sora. If he were to take down a major criminal who had escaped from the island, it would be a great achievement. It should at least be enough as a compensation for the trouble caused.

Thinking like this, Claira began to weave words with a trembling voice.

“……Lord Sora. I swallow my shame to ask… could you… please… help me… to save Klimt…?”

Her voice quivered with sobs. She stuttered occasionally, heaving sobs like a crying child. The embarrassment and shame were too much for her to bear, and she could no longer look at Sora’s face.

As she lowered her gaze, her teardrops left dirty spots on the clean bedding. She was causing trouble even in such a situation. Just as Claira was about to cover her face with both hands,

“Ah, sure.”

These words caused a stir in Claira’s ears.

There was neither mockery nor disbelief in his voice, yet there was no kindness or sympathy either. It was an incredibly light tone. It was as if he had been asked to accompany someone shopping and casually accepted the request.

Claira lifted her face as if she had been jolted, her expression showing more confusion than joy. Doubts were clearly etched in her crimson eyes. She was wondering if the words she had just heard were hallucinations caused by her intense emotions.

“……Um, Lord Sora, did you just…?”

“Hm? Ah, I said sure. You want me to help save Klimt, don’t you?”

“Yes, that’s right!”

“Alright, I’ll help.”

With that, Sora reached out to Claira’s face. A slight shock ran through Claira’s forehead as she involuntarily closed her eyes.

The shock was not accompanied by pain. It was a gentle push on the forehead with the tip of his finger, nothing more.


Under normal circumstances, such a force would be insignificant, but Claira was too weak to resist even such a small force.

Claira, who had been sitting up in bed, was pushed by Sora and ended up lying back down on the bed. Her head sunk into the pillow with a soft sound.

As Claira blinked her eyes, Sora spoke dismissively.

“I’ll bring you something to eat now, rest until then.”

As soon as he finished speaking, Sora briskly turned on his heels to leave the room without waiting for Claira’s reply.

Facing his back, Claira tried to say something — she had to at least say thank you. However, before she could speak, her vision blacked out. The reality of Sora’s words, “I’ll help,” filled her heart, and the tension that had been holding her together snapped.

As if a curtain had been drawn in front of her, Claira’s consciousness was swiftly engulfed in darkness.


“Hmph. I don’t know who drew this map, but they’ve added some intricate details,” I muttered, recalling Claira’s earlier conversation with me.

I didn’t believe the recent events were false. Seeing Claira, whose face looked as if she was on the verge of death, I suspected that the report of Klimt’s disappearance in the Demon Island was true.

However, I couldn’t simply take everything at face value when Claira, who had managed to escape from the island, had made it all the way to Ishka without a single attack from pursuers.

Someone was using Claira to lure me to Demon Island. This was no longer a speculation but a conviction.

As I walked down the corridor, I thought back to the sight of Claira. Her eyes were hollow, cheeks sunken, hair disheveled, she looked like an old woman with time worn on her face. Her skin had turned a sallow color beyond pale. If Ciel and the others hadn’t found her last night, she would’ve undoubtedly breathed her last at the gates.

From that, it could be inferred that Claira herself was not involved in this plot. Then why was she used to draw me out?

“Did they think I’ve grown attached while keeping her hostage?”

I clicked my tongue. Thinking about it, Ayaka also seemed to hold that impression. It wouldn’t be surprising if there were others who thought the same.

If I were to accept Claira’s request and decide to help Klimt, I would inevitably have to pass through the Demon Island.

Should I ask the Mitsurugi family for permission or force my way through? The former was almost equivalent to submitting to the Mitsurugi family, while the latter meant becoming a genuine criminal. Regardless of the choice, I’d be in a predicament.

That would likely be the aim of whoever devised this plan.

What if I chose neither, and instead decided to abandon Claira?

If that happened, perhaps the schemer believed they could conveniently dispose of the nuisance.

If that were the case, would the source of the plan be from the likes of Gilmore? However, it was hard to imagine Gilmore incorporating something as uncertain as “emotions” into his calculations, which meant there could be someone else behind it.

No matter who the mastermind was, using a sister’s feelings for her brother to trap me was a method I thoroughly disliked.

However, in the end, they’ve provided me with an opportunity. I should be thankful for that, at least.

An opportunity for what? Of course, it was an opportunity to enter Demon Island.

Klimt once said that within the Demon Island, there were as many monsters as there were mythical creatures.

Of course, I was interested. But as mentioned earlier, there were problems with passing through the Demon Island, and the Hydra poison issue was still unresolved, preventing me from taking action up until now.

However, unexpectedly, the Mitsurugi family initiated the situation, making my hope suddenly feasible.

I plan to fully take advantage of this situation and surprise them.

Fortunately, I have a plan. I will pass through the Demon Island without bowing to the Mitsurugi family, without staining my hands with crime, and, additionally, undoing the sins Claira has accumulated.

As for Klimt, I’ll think about him once I pass through the Demon Island. Honestly, I don’t care whether he’s alive or dead – well, he’s probably alive. He’s the kind of guy who’d struggle and survive even by drinking muddy water for his sister’s sake.

With a cynical smile, I began to formulate my future action plans in my head.

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